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Thread: JBL Performance Series

  1. #1021
    Dis Member mikebake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giskard View Post
    Uh oh! Do I owe you a deliverable that I've forgotten about?
    Yes. It's that charge coupled personal time expander module. What is the problem??

  2. #1022
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    Hello guys, great forum. First post here. I've skimmed this thread and haven't seen any mention about the box design of the PC600. After having read Vance Dickason's LSDC, I find it quite intriguing that the PC600's front baffle is very close in design to Dickason's "ideal" center channel. The ideal being to maximize horizontal dispersion whilst limiting vertical dispersion.

    For the owners of this fine looking speaker, how well does it render in-movie dialogue? Consider me a horizontal MTM owner wondering if Dickason's theory is proper in execution. (Not that I doubt him, but I appreciate first hand reports).

  3. #1023
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    PC600

    The PC600 is a fine speaker, to be sure. There are a few schools of thought regarding centers in general. Here are three that I have some personal experience with:

    1. The best center is identical to the fronts.
    2. The best center is purpose built for center placement.
    3. The best center is no center.

    I'll make three successive comments in subsequent posts.

  4. #1024
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    1. The best center is identical to the fronts.

    In this view, the better center would be the PT800 rather than the PC600. I have so many of these Performance Series units that I can easily put PT800s up front instead of PC600s.

    In order for this to be as effective as possible, it helps to have the center PT800 at the same elevation as the two mains. Since I have these sitting stacked on PS1400s in an audio-only system, this means wall-mounting or stand mounting. Of course doing this totally precludes adding video at some point in the future, unless I move the speaker up or down.

    In both cases of experimentation, either up or down, the imaging suffers and the effect becomes a little like the picket fence syndrome we sometimes hear described. It really mucks up the stability of the sound stage.

    Tilting the PT800 up or down toward the listening position helps alleviate this, but IME this introduces some timing issues and it also narrows the sweet spot quite a bit.

    Ignoring video for the moment, though, a PT800 as a center works quite well in an audio-only system when it is mounted the same height and distance from the listener as the mains.

    In fact, my next move is to try three PS1400/PT800 stacks across the front and two PT800s for the rears with no subs for an audio 5.0 system.
    Last edited by Titanium Dome; 10-31-2007 at 08:32 PM. Reason: error on the time and space continuum

  5. #1025
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    2. The best center is purpose built for center placement.

    In the case of the purpose-built center, it's a bigger compromise from the get-go than using an identical speaker, inasmuch as it starts with the notion that it's unlikely to be in an ideal placement. If video is in the system, then the center is going to be above or below the screen, and that's it. Mostly it's placed below the screen, because above it is usually problematic.

    Center channels come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations, but the better ones I've heard all have some common elements.

    A. They use identical drivers for the MF and HF as do the mains.
    B. The MF and HF drivers have the same alignment and baffle orientation as the mains.
    C. The LF drivers are identical in composition to the LF drivers on the mains, but since there are two, they are slightly smaller.
    D. The LF drivers do not share the same baffle orientation as the MF and HF drivers, but are arranged as Dickason suggests in his book.
    E. The cabinet (enclosure) is made of the same material and density as the mains and replicates crucial chambers and volumes.

    Of course, the PC600 design does all this, plus has a purpose-built crossover for its components.

    In practice, a PC600 placed as close to the same height as the PT800 mains works remarkably well in a typical center channel position. Because of the dispersion characteristics of its dual 906Ti drivers, its being lower seems less of a problem than a PT800 in the same position. The picket fence syndrome doesn't present itself until the speaker is way out of position. The soundstage stays firm and the imaging is better than a PT800 in the same position, even if it's tilted to compensate.

    As a side note, I put a PC600 up at the same height as the PT800s to see how it fared in an all-audio system. It worked great, and seemed to fit right in. However, I'd have to say it looked a little stupid up there all by itself. Compared to the thin PT800s, it looked like it wanted to fall right off the wall or at least bang someone in the head.

  6. #1026
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    3. The best center is no center.

    You know, I actually have a lot of fondness for this position. In fact, when I had a chance to hear K2 S9800s with and without a center channel, I thought they worked better without an SK2-1000. (Note: I see that the Synthesis K2 system now does not include the SK2-1000 as a center; instead it's THREE K2 S9800SEs!)

    In any event the system I heard sounded better with the SK2 off and the K2 S9800s providing phantom center. The pre/pro had the center set to "none."

    I've tried the Performance Series with the center set to "none" and it sounds pretty good. It's better on music than on movies. In fact, on movies, content is lost, IMO, as I played sections of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers over and over switching between center and no center, and there was definite content loss.

    On two-channel sources (set to PLIIx or L7) and multichannel sources on an audio-only basis, though, the lack of a center is viable. Or it is until you get a PC600 into the mix, then it's not quite so convincing.

    But the PC600 is an amazing speaker, ideally suited for the Performance System. I've heard some centers like the LC1 from the Studio L Series or the Voice from the Venue Series where it really made sense to me to either supplant them with an identical speaker to the mains, or just shut the damn things off and use "none."

  7. #1027
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    In order for this to be as effective as possible, it helps to have the center PT800 at the same elevation as the two mains. Since I have these sitting stacked on PS1400s in an audio-only system, this means wall-mounting or stand mounting. Of course doing this totally precludes adding video at some point in the future, unless I move the speaker up or down.
    When I play DVD-A or SACD I mount my center PT800 on top of an old L212 base, which puts it to almost the same height as the L/R PT800s, which are mounted to SUB1500s. Works very well.
    But it depends on the DVD-A or SACD, as many don't use the center channel.
    For movies the center PT800 sits on the floor, with althread posts raising it so its just below the screen and is tilted back, so the tweeter is aimed right at the ear elevation.

  8. #1028
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    One thing I had not thought of as far as docking the PT800 to the PS1400, is the mounting "stands". As there weren't any in the PT800 boxes, I would assume that they are shipped in the boxes with the PS1400.

  9. #1029
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    Yes, the mounting pillars come inside the little white accessories box that ships with the PS1400. It's the same size box that ships with the PT800 that contains the wall mount and rubber bumpers.

  10. #1030
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    You can still buy the pillars from Harman. Mine were missing, so I placed an order at Harmanaudio.com. It came to about $40.00 for four of them. You'll also have to buy some bolts, they are not included.
    http://www.harmanaudio.com/search_br...L&MarketId=HOM

  11. #1031
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don C View Post
    You can still buy the pillars from Harman. Mine were missing, so I placed an order at Harmanaudio.com. It came to about $40.00 for four of them. You'll also have to buy some bolts, they are not included.
    Well that's not right, you should have contacted JBL about the pillars being missing in the PS1400 boxes. After providing proof of purchase, they would have sent you the pillars for free.
    A similar thing happened with one of the members, here, that bought either the L880s or L890s, He didn't have the feet that attach to the bottoms of the speakers. After he showed proof of purchase, JBL sent him the feet for free.

    If I ever do buy a pair of PS1400s, I'd set them up in a stacked config with the mains, full range, and set my two sub1500s at the mid-points of the side walls for LFE only duty.

    One a differnet note, I'm still debating as to buying a PC600, so I can decide for myself, if a PC600 would be better than using a PT800 for a center. Ti Dome seems to think its better in his setups.
    In all of my HT setups I've always used 3 identical speakers across the front; either 3 L55s, 3 L212s, and now 3 PT800s.

  12. #1032
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    I think a PT800 is easier to find and less expensive on the street. I'm not sure I'd want to pay the full price or even the refurb price for a PC600 ($1050) when I could get another PT800 for roughly 25% ($500 or less) of retail with smart and patient shopping.

    I wouldn't say it's a $500 improvement to have a PC600, especially if you can get a PT800 up high enough under your screen. Then again, I would say it's a $250 dollar improvement.

  13. #1033
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    I wouldn't say it's a $500 improvement to have a PC600, especially if you can get a PT800 up high enough under your screen. Then again, I would say it's a $250 dollar improvement.
    The only difference between the location of my center PT800 and a PC600 would be having two mid-bass drivers and their location to the sides of the tweeter and mid, instead of closer to the floor.
    The tweeter and mid would be at exactlly the same elevation as they are now, with the top of the box one inch below the screen.
    If we didn't already know that the units can be had for less, at times, I'd might spring for the $1050 price for a PC600. The same for the PS1400.
    I'm in the mode, if a PC600 comes along at a cheap price, I'll grab it, if not , so be it.

  14. #1034
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    Cool thread! I own a 5.1 system of JBLs too!

  15. #1035
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    1. The best center is identical to the fronts.

    In this view, the better center would be the PT800 rather than the PC600. I have so many of these Performance Series units that I can easily put PT800s up front instead of PC600s.

    In order for this to be as effective as possible, it helps to have the center PT800 at the same elevation as the two mains. Since I have these sitting stacked on PS1400s in an audio-only system, this means wall-mounting or stand mounting. Of course doing this totally precludes adding video at some point in the future, unless I move the speaker up or down.

    In both cases of experimentation, either up or down, the imaging suffers and the effect becomes a little like the picket fence syndrome we sometimes hear described. It really mucks up the stability of the sound stage.

    Tilting the PT800 up or down toward the listening position helps alleviate this, but IME this introduces some timing issues and it also narrows the sweet spot quite a bit.

    Ignoring video for the moment, though, a PT800 as a center works quite well in an audio-only system when it is mounted the same height and distance from the listener as the mains.

    In fact, my next move is to try three PS1400/PT800 stacks across the front and two PT800s for the rears with no subs for an audio 5.0 system.
    What I ended up with for the SACD/DVD-A MCH audio only system is this:
    LF: PS1400/PT800 full range stack
    C: PT800
    RF: PS1400/PT800 full range stack
    Sub: HTPS400
    LR: PT800
    RR: PT800

    The sound in an open, three-level (various floor and ceiling elevations), 1024' sq. living area is immaculate.
    In.

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